Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - November 19, 2012

From: Baltimore, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Deer Resistant, Privacy Screening, Shade Tolerant, Trees
Title: Evergreen Privacy Screen for Maryland
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

I am looking for an evergreen that will suffice to be planted as a privacy screen between my property and my neighbors. Looking to plant a row at the property line. The lot is shaded most of the day and receives maybe 2-3 hours of sun. I would prefer the plant be around 20'-40' when mature. Also, there are plenty of deer in the area so it needs to be deer resistant.

ANSWER:

Wow!   That’s a lot of requirements [or at least “wishes”].  The more constraints you put on a solution, the more limited your options are, but I[we] got lucky and there are some good choices which I discuss at the bottom of this message.   The proper way to go about this is to bring up the “Recommended Species” for Maryland – then “narrow the choices” by your requirements on the sidebar.  The following Mr Smarty Plant question/answer pairs illustrate this and provide some interesting reading on similar questions:
Native Alternatives for Baltimore 
Evergreens for Privacy in VA
Privacy Screen in Arlington VA
Shrubs for a Screen in DC
Large Shrubs for Privacy Screen in VA
Shrubs for a barrier fence in Alexandria VA

   Now, just in case you are in a “just give me the answer” mood; I did this for shrubs/trees in the 12-36 foot range and partial shade [2-6 hours sun].  After that, you have to read the plant record to see if it is evergreen and to see if there is a comment as to deer resistance.  Here is what I found:

  The closest to having everything was Morella cerifera (Wax myrtle), which is both evergreen and listed as having moderate deer resistance.
Evergreens that might also be good choices include  Ilex opaca (American holly), Rhododendron catawbiense (Catawba rosebay) and Rhododendron maximum (Great laurel), but there was no mention of deer resistance.

Similarly, non-evergreens that are listed as deer resistant include Ptelea trifoliata (Wafer ash) which is listed as High Deer Resistance, and Cercis canadensis (Eastern redbud) or  Viburnum rufidulum (Rusty blackhaw viburnum) with Moderate Deer Resistance.

 

From the Image Gallery


Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

American holly
Ilex opaca

Catawba rosebay
Rhododendron catawbiense

Great laurel
Rhododendron maximum

Rusty blackhaw viburnum
Viburnum rufidulum

More Privacy Screening Questions

Plants for Liberty Hill TX in full sun
April 15, 2008 - We recently bought an acre of land in Liberty Hill, TX. We have a large planting area in the front that is devoid of any plant life. I would like to turn this into a semi shaded area with some annua...
view the full question and answer

Screen plants to replace non-native Chinese raintrees in Marble Falls, TX
February 15, 2010 - Five four year old Koelreuteria bipinnata (Chinese Rain) trees were mistakenly cut to the ground. They were planted fairly close together, perhaps ten feet apart. The purpose for them was to provide a...
view the full question and answer

Thorny shrub for deterring break-ins in southeast Texas
February 05, 2013 - Looking for a very, very, thorny three or four foot tall shrub for in front of windows to deter break-ins. Considering Rosa Rugosa rose but it is not native.
view the full question and answer

Privacy Hedge for Dripping Springs, TX
April 25, 2014 - We live in Dripping Springs, TX and are looking to find a suggestion for privacy hedges that are non-toxic to dogs, drought resistant, can handle rocky soil and full sun. We prefer flowering hedges. ...
view the full question and answer

Native plants under trees for privacy barrier in Fairview, TX
April 29, 2009 - I am looking for suggestions on what to plant for a Privacy Barrier. The area in question is a shaded area under a tree line of about 200+ feet long. I am hoping for year round coverage. The canopy...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.